“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
The book of Hebrews deals with Jesus as the Great High Priest, our eternal advocate before the Father. Because of what He has done, we can approach God with boldness, having full confidence that He hears our prayers and that His sacrifice has redeemed us forever. Through our relationship with Him, we have faith that we will one day gain the inheritance He has promised us, reigning with Him forever on the new earth. This faith in Him is what gives us the strength to live for Him.
But what exactly is faith? And how can we apply this principle to our own lives? The author of Hebrews was nice enough to give us a helpful definition of faith. According to him, it’s “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In other words, our faith allows us to look at the things we hope for as if we already had them. The heroes in the “Faith Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11 all shared this critical characteristic. For example, Abraham had no idea where God would lead him when he set out to the land God had promised him, but he trusted God’s promise and behaved as if he already had the land. Joseph saw the prosperity of his family in Egypt, but he believed God would one day bring their descendants back to His promised land, to the extent that he made his family promise to bring his bones back with them when they left. Rahab had such faith that God would deliver her out of Jericho that she risked her life to hide the Israelite spies. The many judges of Israel fought their enemies with the confidence that God would deliver them. The prophets boldly proclaimed God’s warnings to the people, even though their audiences thought they were crazy and hated them for their words. Every single servant of God has had faith, a faith that enabled them to look beyond their current struggles and see what God had promised them.
We are called to have the same kind of faith. The world certainly hasn’t gotten any easier since the book of Hebrews was written; faith is just as necessary now as it was then. We still can’t see where God is leading us; we just know that He’s promised us an inheritance in Heaven, and everything that happens to us on earth is preparing us to better serve Him. One day, we will see the fulfillment of everything He has promised us. One day, the conviction of things not seen will become the joyous exultation of everything we do see. Our faith will finally be made sight in God as we live with Him and worship Him for all eternity.